Thursday, August 29, 2013

Call A Spade A Spade

Billed as a cabinet reshuffle, it was in actuality a promotion exercise. Speaking to the media in Xinjiang, China, where he is on an official visit cum holiday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the tasks at hand "have become more complicated and more intense" and that the existing mechanism needs to be "staffed with political leadership . . . who can do the political work, which means going out . . . engaging Singaporeans . . . understanding what people are feeling".

Not everyone was promoted. Tan Chuan-Jin had to step down as Senior Minister of State at Ministry of National Development (MND), but gets to hang on to his post as Acting Minister for Manpower. Political unknown Desmond Lee (who's he?) will be taking over the role of Minister of State at MND, the ministry handling the hot potato issue of affordable housing. Perhaps Lee felt that the Bukit Brown and bus strike brouhaha was not what he had in mind about ". . . engaging Singaporeans . . . understanding what people are feeling."

Perhaps Lee's idea of people ..."who can do the political work, which means going out..." was luring senior citizens with packet meals to boost the pathetic attendance at its election rallies. Or help shovel dirt at a tree planting photo-op when dad didn't have the physical strength to lift the farming implement.

Chan Chun Sing made his cameo appearance at the funeral of the PM's mother, claiming to be in charge of the gun carriage team. When rumors spiralled about his association in the family tree, instead of quashing the misinformation outright, he added fuel to the speculation, "I am related to the Lee family as much as I am related to all Singaporeans..  as fellow Singaporeans". The political mileage in the innuendo is not missed.

Way back in 1988 of the newspaper archives, Chan was more straight forward with the truth: "My mother is a machine-operator. I do not stay with my father became my parents are divorced." While we are still at myth busting, Wong Kan Seng is not related either - it just happens his wife has the same three-letter surname. Then again - how did Chan put it? - "...if one believes in evolution, then we all - regardless of race, language and religion - came from the same ancestor."


  1. Another princeling 二世祖

    Son of former Ed Minster Lee Yock Suan who gave a s last key speech as Education Minister speech on the MOE mission then ‘Moulding the Future of Our Nation’ in 1996, including the introduction of National Education. In today's parlance, is called national brainwashing. You judge for yourself.

  2. So who is Chan's father and is Chan his actual surname? What could it be? Perhaps they can try ask his fellow President Scholar of the same batch - Patrick Tan.

    1. The guy with a mysterious meteoric rise to the top who became a major turn-off after his Lanfang Republic spiel. While he is Cantonese (no hakka) nothing is known about his father? But it is not lost on anyone that his close ties to the Lee clan, appearing in strategic time and place must have left many wondered why?

      So let call spade a spade. Either he is unknowingly (yet) related, or he is the biggest apple polisher which takes alot of skill. Heck, even Calvin Cheng would be wondering why he's only an NMP! If CCS has any merits, it certainly has not been obvious to the people on the ground, although being an auntie killer and a constant human crutch to LKY does not hurt one's chances.

    2. He was Chief of Staff Army issit?

      So he has taken care of a lot of white horses, maybe enough merits to be parachuted lah.

      Or like ex-president nathan, maybe he did a very brave act (like taking oneself as hostage to enemy) to prove his patriotism, touched LKY so much that he also became a President later, tio bo?

    3. CCS was at mdm Kwa's funeral, and you can bet he will feature again when it is LKY's turn. Just wait and see if he is one of the pallbearers.
      At the end of the day the useless PM can promote anyone at his whim and fancy but the voters can sack him along with his selection in 2016

    4. This is the latest step in Getting The Army In Place - in case of any freak election result.... Chuan Jin's time will come, seeing as how he is ex-SAF. Every general needs a 2nd in command.

    5. Chan Chun Sing, very gungho, very good at angkat bodek. He is in politics, and he plays politics. Will go far, this rising star...but...

      Always pictured with the Old Fart - any bets that he won't be at his nonagenarian birthday bash on 16 Sept?

  3. LHL 's logic tanamount to saying that without the promotion , his elected mp cannot go out to feel the ground?

    fucking stupid right?

    1. Just mean more chance for backbenchers to become Minister.

      So someone like TPL also got chance-- never say never. Whether she will get to become like Margaret Thatcher the handbag lady, that's another thing altogether.

      But agree with you. The best way to "flameproof" any MPs is to get them to fight mano-a-mano to earn their street creds. Put spur in their hides..and that include the PM!

    2. PM very subtle here..instead of openly saying his grassroots/RC members have failed at their jobs on the ground, he needs to send the real generals to feel the ground for him.

  4. How can a non-elected or walkover MP be a minister? There is no moral legitimacy to his appointment and promotion, period.

    The main takeaway from this exercise is the rich ministers are getting richer at a much shorter time. Good days for ordinary Singaporeans are not anywhere in sight. This is more like a promotion exercise for incompetency.

    1. Why not? Lest you forget we live in uniquely singapore!

      Tony Tan won by 0.34%
      LKY walkover by 0.35 sec delay and disqualification
      Seetoh Yihpin won by 0.36% votes

      Stranger things and numbers have happened in consecutive order.

    2. Quickly Chope8/29/2013 11:58 AM

      all you have to do is believe lah..that 100 fold return, widely practiced by our Leaders too.

      believe that you are as good as Beyonce, so that you can benchmark your expected album sales from 200million to an actual 2 million!

      That by spending $10m you can turn an unreleased album into an $32m profits.

      Never underestimate power of faith. Why do you think LHL has evoke such power recently? Lost or misplaced sheeps should sign up might become a Sheep Herder if you know when and how to kee chiu fast enough.

      Only faith

    3. PAP believe that their attitude to society is correct, they believe in the entitlement of privilege and they believe in a competitive culture but only as long as they know that the winners are pre determined and are of their picks. Unfortunately, these people are our current government.

    4. ///Tony Tan won by 0.34%
      LKY walkover by 0.35 sec delay and disqualification
      Seetoh Yihpin won by 0.36% votes //


      Is that why they found extra PE ballot boxes hidden in the storehouse of a school as reported by TRE?

  5. //if one believes in evolution, then we all - regardless of race, language and religion - came from the same ancestor."//

    Theoretically he is not wrong.
    American geneticist, Dr Joanathan Spencer will agree that we were all africans once, where the first eve and adam is traced and found.

    1. When was the last time you boasted to your friends that you are descended from Attila the Hun, Adolf Hitler or Idi Amin?

  6. Well, interesting to see how 4 women were promoted this time round.
    The party was very quick to say it is proof of meritocratic.
    Amy Khor even said is gender-blind.
    So how come nobody accuse them of having a feminist agenda?

    Strangely, when it comes to opposition, they are very quick to accuse them of having a-gender? What kind of Double-standard is this?

    Pity to the talented Vincent Wijesyingha. Hope he continues to promote civil society and all the best to SDP.

    1. Think it has to do with the high profile sex scandals lately. Maybe the women are less likely to hanky panky

    2. More married women = more motherhood statement? LOL

    3. women tend to be more loyal to a generous boss
      and I believe ah loong has the female voters in mind as well....

    4. married woman can also have affairs...or sleep their way to the top

  7. LKY must have thought CCS is more brilliant than CSM.

    Senility speaks.

    1. More importantly, LKY actually thinks no one on this planet is more brilliant than his good for nothing son.
      Fortunately for the human race LKY is not god, otherwise he would have emphasised this point to Obama, Xi, Putin, Abe, Merkel.............

  8. So is a toss between Lawrence & TCJ, thus need longer time to observe.

    Chan will have defence carved out for him, plus an entertainment role replacing Lim Swee Say.

    Heng will follow the warm footstep of GCT.

    All, provided if PAP is still in power.

  9. Intriguing that BG Tan sad sidelined.

    1. MG ChanCS and BG Tan are essentially stooges belonging to different camps within the party. Things will unravel when the old despot exhales for the last time. I am looking forward to it.

    2. Be careful of what you say, lest he springs out of his coffin..
      If what you say is correct, I will root for the BG Faction, rather than the Goons Faction.

  10. The makings of Dallas!

    Who is the father?
    Why the girls now?
    Did TCJ upset the upturn??

    the plot thickens!

  11. Does it mean that Keechiu is better @ keechiuing than the other young Turks? Looks like Sir's name has no luck this time because of his PR blunder? And serves as a warning for Jin to better buckle up next time there is another strike

    1. LHL said the MND post was taken away from Tan Chuan-Jin because the Manpower portfolio was already too heavy. But keechiu general is acting minister for social and family development, yet has added second minister for defence, how come that is not too much? Oh, I forgot, Chan has a new assistant, Low Yen Ling, appointed specially to help him in social and family development. Nepotism was bad enough, now we have blatant favouritism.

    2. How can you compare MOM with like comparing durian with avocado.

    3. Why is it everytime our potential Emperor is selected by one person ? Is that how democracy works ? Looks like ours is more like a dynasty, the next in line is decided by one person ?

      And honestly why is Sir & Bay no better than Keechiu ? Will this type of favoritism come to haunt PAP later when the old man eventually dies ?

  12. methinks that is what OSC means by "compassionate meritocracy" meh

  13. You are correct to point out the it is not a cabinet reshuffle but a promotion exercise which is going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money.A netizen has intimiated that Chan's promotion is an indication the LKY may step down on or soon after his 90th birthday on 16 Spetember, leaving Chan a fuLl minister to helm the Tanjong Pagar GRC. Makes sense to me as the public has expressed dismay at the old man clinging on to the MP seat despite being clearly unable to do the job.

    1. Makes sense. Unlike catholic pope, there is no doctrine to say you must serve like JP2 all the way to his death bed. It is painful to watch, and quite frankly, selfish in most people's views when one is almost incapacitated. But yeah, he will clock another guinness record for being the world's longest AND oldest serving politician. QED if you run a dynastic fielfdom in the name of respect, asian values, filial piety and yada yada yada...

    2. LKY should have been removed in 2011 post GE when PM announced his cabinet. But as Mahathir said, he is an old man and we should give him "allowance" at $15k a mth for ghost writing his memoirs and keeping an entourage of PS and staff for his high maintenance and disposal. His ego is too big to be a commoner after all these years of hubris.

    3. And why is the news reporting and book launching from inside Istana? Did nobody tell him that he has moved out over 23 years ago as Prime Minister, and stepped down 2 years ago as Minister Mentor? He is just an ordinary backbencher MP who fails to fulfill his MPS duty since. Fact checks guys!

      Unfortunately his dithering son and cabinet is not willing to act within code of ethics and protocol decisively. All that public display only damage further their cause and trust.

  14. Chan's mother is surnamed Kwong. His wife is surnamed Low.
    Monica Lee (LKY's sister) did marry a Chan.

    And he once said on chinese tv :

    "We discover, regardless of which society, in the long run, the rich will marry the rich and their children will have more opportunities. And those who are not rich, will form another type of social condition. And that is, those who are not rich and do not have much opportunities will stick together."..

    So, bottomline - he quite smart leh...poor must mix with the rich, then there will be less gini-coefficiency problem. After all, didn't Prince William marry a commoner, Waity Katie?

    1. Mix mix mix what talking you? You confused mixed up silly bugger you. By the way, if this is the standard of your writing, I wonder about your country's education system.

    2. CCS has an image & likeability problem.

      Other than that, he did well on setting up the 20 Social Services Centers to better cater to the needy. IT takes someone like his background to get it. He appears to be someone who can get things done.

    3. Arse llicker extraordinaire.

  15. So what if he is promoted..and in charge of Defence. Another Paper General who came in through the GRC backdoor?

    What can he do, in addition to NEH to improve the Military Transparency Index which is currently having a D- band score that places us in High Corruption Risk! As reported, the defence and security sector is characterised by a dearth of public what is this so called future PM going to do in accountability when it comes to high and opaque spending?

    1. The higher the monkey climb up that coconut tree, the more it exposes it's arse.

  16. A cum holiday, now that I like. Hope it didn't cum to a premature end.

    1. Ended in a premature promotion, actually.

  17. Does it mean that the current DPMs doesn't stand the lightest chance to become our next PM in line from now until the time the Crown Prince retires ?

    In other words, does it mean they are not good enough or even at par with the younger ones now being groomed for the throne ?

    Something must be seriously wrong with this kind of favoured sucession in a democracy ?

    1. Did you say democracy?

    2. Maybe any potential DPM would have been screened if they have any desire to challenge their maker?

    3. hello,

      it is clown prince not "Crown Prince". Please refer it correctly. Okay ?

      clown prince in full glory

    4. 2012, Grace Fu was promoted directly to FULL Minister. No need to Acting first, really langgar. What she do in PMO?

      Provided PAP is not kicked out, here is how I IMAGINE the Chan Chun Sing (b 1969) succession to the clown prince pan out:

      Ag Minister 2012 (age 43), Full Minister 2013 (age 44).
      DPM 2015 (age 46), and after GE2016, PM 2018 (age 49) when LHL will be 67.
      After GE 2016, DPM 2017 (age 48) and after GE 2020, PM 2022 (age 53) when LHL will be 71 (he said he wants to be PM for 20 years).

      The only other contender is Tan Chuan-Jin (b 1969), but Kee Chiu is one step ahead.

      Our PM always start around age 50. By 2018 all current Ministers will be too old to be PM, except Lawrence Wong. Kee chiu anyone disagree, he he.

    5. Goh Chok Tong PM aged 49, Lee Hsien Loong PM aged 52. Don't count the Old Fart, became PM in 1959 aged 36 and continued for 31 years. Compared to him Lawrence Wong (b 1972) is a spring chicken. Grace Fu (b 1964) is an old hen.

  18. I think Goh Keng Swee is the uncle of Goh
    Chok Tong (former PM) and Goh Chok Tong's
    father is Goh Hood Keng, maybe now you'll
    understand why his parent's name are not mentioned
    in public.
    Part 1
    "As was typical in Peranakan families, the Gohs
    spoke both Malay and English at home. On
    Sundays, church services were conducted at
    home in Malay, with the hymns sung also in
    (After his father found work in the Pasir Panjang
    rubber estate, the family moved there. His father
    rose to become manager of the estate in 1933.)
    GKS's sisters, Ida and Dawn, had by now
    become English teachers, and they would often
    read story-books to the young GKS at bedtime."
    (A shy, quiet boy who loved books)

    "Goh Keng Swee was born in Malacca in the
    Straits Settlements on 6 October 1918[3] into a
    middle-income Peranakan family, the fifth of six
    children.[4] His father Goh Leng Inn was a
    manager of a rubber plantation, while his mother
    Tan Swee Eng[5] was from the family that
    produced the Malaysian politicians Tun Tan
    Cheng Lock and his son Tun Tan Siew Sin, who
    would later become Goh's lifelong political
    Goh was given the Christian name Robert, which
    he disliked and refused to respond to. When he
    was two years old, his family moved from
    Malacca to Singapore where his maternal
    grandparents owned several properties. The
    Gohs later relocated to the Pasir Panjang rubber
    estate when his father found work there, and
    became manager in 1933. In common with many
    Peranakan families, the Gohs spoke both
    English and Malay at home; church services
    were held at home on Sundays in Malay.[8]
    Goh's father Leng Inn and the latter's brothers-
    in-law Chew Cheng Yong and Goh Hood Keng
    taught in the Anglo-Chinese School for various
    periods, and were also involved in the Middle
    Road Baba Church while Hood Keng was pastor
    there. Goh himself attended this church as well
    [9]" unquote
    (Goh Keng Swee - Wikipedia, the free

    "Evolving Meritocracy in Singapore
    At its core, meritocracy is a value system by
    which advancement in society is based on an
    individual’s ability, performance and
    achievement, and not on the basis of
    connections, wealth or family background. For
    Singapore in particular, a meritocratic system,
    while not perfect, is the best means to maximise
    the potential and harness the talents of our
    people to society’s advantage.
    Levelling the playing field

    As a student in RI, I used to cycle 10km to
    school from my home in Pasir Panjang. It
    crossed my mind that the time I spent cycling
    could be spent studying by those schoolmates
    whose parents owned cars."unquote
    (Goh Chok Tong On Meritocracy and Elitism in
    Singapore _ Din Merican the Malaysian DJ

    Joshua Chiang

  19. Part 2

    "BLOCK B
    Lorraine (on cam) You're back with TalkAsia and
    our special interview with Singapore's Prime
    Minister, Goh Chok Tong. He says some of his
    earliest memories are playing by the seaside,
    and swimming in the ocean with his friends. In
    the second part of my interview with him, Prime
    Minister Goh openly talks about his childhood,
    and some intimate moments with his late father.
    PM Goh: I would say, I came from a working
    class family. My father died very young
    unfortunately for him and for the family. Some
    deprivations, but not too much.. and it's the
    context of extended family which I treasured. I
    grew up with my uncles, my grandmother, aunts
    and so on.
    Lorraine: Would you say then that your mother
    would have been the one that basically raised
    PM Goh: I would say it's my grandmother
    because my mother had to teach. And she
    taught at that time, in today's context it's quite near-but in those times in the remote village quite far away, so she stayed away for a week and would come back for the weekend. So it's a combination of grandmother and mother."
    (CNN_com - Singapore PM Goh Chok Tong's
    TalkAsia Interview Transcript - Feb_ 9, 2004)

    "As Goh was born in Singapore in 1941, he was
    an infant during the Japanese occupation years
    of 1942-1945. He came from a humble
    background, and in one of his parliamentary
    speeches he admitted that his two children were
    much better off than he was when he was
    young, as he was then living in a house with
    several families. Because Goh's father died
    when he was very young, his mother worked as
    a teacher in a Chinese school to support him
    and his sister. Both of them were raised by their mother with the help of their grandmother, an uncle, and an aunt."
    (Goh Chok Tong - Definition of Goh Chok Tong)

    "Retirement and death
    Goh retired in early 1952, ending a long
    incumbency, which inspired his popular
    designation as a legend. The bishop appointed
    him District Evangelist and he continued
    lecturing and speaking out on matters of
    concern. Not long after broadcasting a sermon
    on New Year's Day, 1961, Goh became ill and
    died soon thereafter. He was buried before five
    hundred mourners, including many he had
    baptised or married.
    FamilyGoh's father was Goh Kim Swee. Goh's wife
    (née Tan) and youngest son died in 1924, and
    their other son was killed during the invasion.
    The Gohs had seven daughters and their
    nephew was future Finance Minister Goh Keng
    Swee." unquote.
    (Goh Hood Keng)

    Joshua Chiang

  20. Part 3

    "Friday, 13 November 2009, 10:20 am | 1,654

    Speech in 1990 seems to suggest that the SM had technically broken his bond in 1964 – albeit temporarily

    YEARS TO THE DAY AGO, then First Deputy
    Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong illustrated the
    difficulty of getting top talent to enter politics by sharing his own experience when he first graduated in 1964.
    “My first choice after graduating was to be a professor. I wanted to do a PhD. So I signed up as a Research Scholar at the
    Singapore University. Two weeks after I started, the Vice-Chancellor called me up. He said that the Government wanted me to work in the Civil Service as an Administrative Officer. They would not release me. I was then under a five-year bond, because of a bursary I received. I was put in the Economic Planning Unit. I worked there for about one year, until I saw an advertisement by Shell. I applied. After a series of interviews and tests, plus a lunch where they observed how you behaved socially, I got the job. They also gave
    me a loan to pay up my bond. So I resigned from
    the Civil Service, brought forward the date of my marriage so that I could go for my honeymoon
    before starting on the new job, and happily went off with my wife to Malaysia. Halfway through our honeymoon, I got a telegram from Shell: Come back immediately. I thought they needed my services immediately. Instead they told me that
    Dr Goh Keng Swee had expressed unhappiness
    over their taking me. They would still take me in, nevertheless, if I insisted on joining them. I sensed their reluctance. So I returned the loan I took from Shell, and went back to the Economic Planning Unit. Later, I was seconded to NOL. I was very happy there. I thought I had found my niche in life.” unquote.
    (Goh Chok Tong The pioneer bond-breaker -
    (PASSINGS_ Kwa Geok Choo)
    (Goh Chok Tong - Definition of Goh Chok Tong)

    Joshua Chiang

    1. Tsk, tsk, tsk, so many words.

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